"Always wear something sensible when cooking at the barbecue"
One of the joys of summertime is yard sale-ing. We pack a lunch, a thermos of lemonade and start out early. In our area, all the little towns have a city-wide garage sale day, so our hunting is concentrated to a small area, it really saves on expensive gas. We have a list of wants and were pretty fortunate to cross several off our list this year. A Boston rocker (wanted one of those for years), a small wing-back loveseat (watch for a post on that later), some wrought iron hinges for our back door, we even found a pretty set of hand-wrought fireplace tools for $20 that we were just looking at in a catalog the day before at a much higher price. Sometimes we find something we never realized existed. Like this cute little grill that looks like a toolbox. Just the thing for packing in the trunk and using at picnics and tailgating parties. It even has a cute little Scotsman on it. It must have been made by the same company that manufactured those pretty little red plaid thermoses and picnic sets. Here's our favorite grilling recipe:
Slice an eggplant into 1/2" slices, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasonings, salt and paper. Slice an onion into nice thick slices. Grill until nicely browned and softened. Butter (we use an heart healthy olive oil based margarine) a nice crusty loaf of bread such as French or Italian. Sprinkle with Italian seasonings. Layer the eggplant, onions, slices of tomatoes and some fresh basil. You can top this with fresh mozzarella if you like (it's good, but not vegan, alas!). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over all. Wrap in tin foil and place on the grill. Bake until the crust is toasty and the cheese melts and the vegetables are warm and meld together. If you don't have a grill (or it's raining)you can broil the vegetables in the oven.
This is one of our favorite summertime meals. And it is especially thrifty because we grow all of the vegetables in our garden. As a matter of fact, we grow specific heirloom varieties, such as Princepe Borghese tomatoes, cioplianni onions, and an old variety of eggplant just so we can get an authentic taste. It is wonderful!